BENEDICT XVI: MAY EUROPE BE ABLE TO "REDISCOVER AND PROTECT" THE CHRISTIAN "PATRIMONY" (2)

"The reform of Cluny – said Benedict XVI to the 9,000 faithful gathered in Paul VI’s Hall – had positive effects not only on the purification and rebirth of monastic life, but also on the life of the universal Church". In particular, the movement that originated from the Abbey of Cluny – which "at the moment of its greatest expansion" in the 12th century counted 1,200 monasteries – was "a stimulus to fight the great evils" plaguing the Church of the time: "simony, that is, the acquisition of ecclesiastical offices by financial means and the immorality of lay clergy". "By their moral example", pointed out the Pope, the abbots of Cluny became "the protagonists of an important spiritual renewal". With them "priestly celibacy regained its value and the assignment of ecclesiastical offices was made more transparent". This monastic movement brought many "benefits" "to society" especially through two medieval institutions: the "Truce of God" and the "Peace of God". "In those times marked by violence and revenge – recalled the Pope – the Truce of God could ensure a long non-belligerence while the Peace of God introduced the penalty of excommunication for the non-respect of unarmed people and holy places". (continued) ” ” ” “

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